AMD's Catalyst A.I. Is Good For Few Linux Games
Catalyst A.I. is a feature built into AMD's proprietary Radeon graphics driver meant to enhance the OpenGL performance for certain games, but under Linux it's not incredibly useful.
Catalyst A.I. is meant to further enhance the GPU's performance, particularly for gaming. This feature has long been supported under both the Windows and Linux drivers. Back in February I found Catalyst A.I. to be rather useless on Linux.
This weekend I ran some new Ubuntu Linux benchmarks from the latest Catalyst 12.11 Beta. For a few games there's some performance improvements when toggling the Catalyst A.I. support and trying out the standard and advanced A.I. modes. However, most native Linux games that were tested don't see any benefit out of this AMD-specific driver feature.
Doom 3 was one of the few titles benefiting from Catalyst A.I., but only the advanced mode didn't have any greater performance benefits over the standard A.I.
Nexuiz saw a small performance pop when using the advanced Catalyst A.I. from the latest Catalyst Linux driver on the Radeon HD 6950 Cayman graphics card.
Unfortunately most Linux OpenGL results were like the graph above where there was no performance difference, even for some of the other id Tech 3/4 games, Unigine Engine, Qfusion, etc.
All of the system details along with more of these Catalyst A.I. Linux benchmarks are available from OpenBenchmarking.org.
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